as a chartered accountant, i'm required to complete at least 20 hours of structured professional development every year. which means that i attend courses put on by various tax specialists, by the institute of chartered accountants and sometimes by lawyers - accountants are dealing with various aspects of the law after all.
today i spent a few hours getting a refresher on property relationship laws, particularly where they intersect with the setting up of trusts. i particularly hate going to these types of courses, because the underlying theme always seem to be that women are bloodsucking leeches (sorry, my girls have twilight fever & it must be catching!) from whom wealthy men must protect their property.
sometimes it's pretty overt, other times covert. but it tends to be pretty consistent, particularly in the way that case law is presented. today we had a woman presenter, so it wasn't as bad as usual, but still...
for example, we had a case of a man who loved antique cars, and bought a rundown old dump for some small amount (say $500) and spent another small amount on parts. the bulk of his input was the time he spent doing the thing up. lo and behold, when he had completed the task, the car ended up being worth $80,000.
and he had to pay half of this amount to his ex as part of the divorce settlement. and pretty much everyone in the room (even the women) shook their heads at how unfair this was. me, totally annoyed on the inside, said lightly "well, she was probably spending all her time raising the kids while he just mucked around in the garage", which got a couple of chuckles.
but i hate it. i hate the way these things are presented all. the. time. i hate the way that women's contributions are so undervalued because they happened to be unpaid, and that any large settlements they get are seen as undeserved. i don't have time to do the research now, but from what i recall, divorce settlements in the country are hardly generous towards women. it's one reason why single mothers feature so highly in our poverty statistics.